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Type: Thesis
Title: Biodiversity, taxonomy and systematics of Australian microgastrine parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)
Author: Fagan-Jeffries, Erinn Peta
Issue Date: 2018
School/Discipline: School of Biological Sciences
Abstract: Microgastrine wasps are one of the most species-rich groups of Hymenoptera on the planet. There are currently over 2,700 species described in 81 genera, but the highest estimates of true species diversity reach 40,000. As endoparasitoids of lepidopteran larvae, often with high host specificity, microgastrines are successful biological control agents and have the potential to be used in many more applications. In Australia, little taxonomic work has been done on the subfamily since the 1990s, and barely any molecular studies have been undertaken that include Australian fauna. Including those described as new in this study, there are approximately 130 species in 22 genera described from Australia. In this collection of work on the Australian microgastrines, a large DNA barcoding and species delimitation study is carried out using high-throughput methods, providing a framework for rapid species descriptions and giving new insight into the diversity of the subfamily in Australia. Intragenomic variation of the internal transcribed spacer 2 region was discovered in the analysis of the DNA barcoding data, and this was explored for the genus Diolcogaster. A review and description of two new species in the genus Choeras is undertaken, and three new species from the genus Dolichogenidea with exceptionally long ovipositors are described. Finally, this DNA barcoding framework is used to describe several new species collected on ‘Bush Blitz’ surveys of regional reserves. These results and insights are discussed in the context of the broader microgastrine story, and future research directions are suggested.
Advisor: Austin, Andrew
Cooper, Steven
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Biological Sciences, 2018
Keywords: Parasitoids
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